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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
540-483-5113
Fax: 540-483-8013

HIGH SCHOOL BOYS' BASKETBALL
Eagles look to reclaim Northside crown
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Second-year Franklin County boys’ varsity basketball coach Lloyd Church directs his team from the sideline during a recent victory at Samuel M. Hawkins-Central Gymnasium. The Eagles take an 8-1 record into Thursday’s match-up against Brookville in the opening round of the 2012 Northside Invitational. (Staff Photo by Steven Marsh)
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Monday, December 24, 2012

By STEVEN MARSH - Sports Editor

ROANOKE -- Advancing to the championship game of the Northside Invitational has never been a problem for Franklin County's boys' varsity basketball team.

Lately, winning the title has been extremely difficult.

The Eagles (8-1) will attempt to win the annual tournament for the first time since 2007 when they kick off this year's event against Group AA Brookville Thursday at 2:30 p.m.

One thing is certain -- a new champion will be crowned at the end of three days of play because two-time reigning titleholder Christiansburg is not in the eight-team field.

Joining FCHS, Brookville and host Northside in this year's field are Blacksburg, William Byrd, E.C. Glass, Lord Botetourt and Liberty.

The tournament is in its 14th year.

The Eagles are 9-0 in first-round games in this tournament and they have 20 overall wins to their credit since 2002, the year they made their inaugural appearance.

FCHS is a past three-time champion (2003, 2006 and 2007) and a four-time runner-up (2004, 2009, 2010 and 2011).

All three of the Eagles' championship game victories have come at the expense of Blacksburg. Their championship game setbacks are to Martinsville (2004), when the Bulldogs were guided by current Hidden Valley head coach Troy Wells, Northside (2009) and Christiansburg (2010, 2011).

FCHS finished third in 2002 and fourth in 2008. The Eagles did not play in the 2005 tournament.

A year ago, the Eagles opened the tournament with a 12-point, 75-63 win over Blacksburg. In the semifinals, they edged Northside, 70-68. In the finals, they suffered the second of what would turn out to be three losses to Christiansburg, which won last year's Group AA Division 4 state championship, 75-70.

Brookville was in last year's tournament and lost all three of its games: 67-47 to Northside in the first round, 55-43 to Blacksburg in a first-round consolation game and 56-55 in overtime to William Byrd in the seventh-place game.

Of the Eagles' returning players, senior guard Devin Clements earned all-tournament team accolades last year.

Of the teams in this year's tournament, only FCHS (3), Northside (2) and Liberty (1) have won the championship. FCHS (4), Blacksburg (3), Liberty (1) and Lord Botetourt (1) are past runners-up.

In other first-round match-ups Thursday, Blacksburg plays William Byrd at 4:15 p.m., E.C. Glass takes on Lord Botetourt at 6 p.m. and Liberty faces Northside at 7:45 p.m.

Game times in the varsity division on Friday and Saturday are 2:30 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.

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JUNIOR VARSITY PLAY: FCHS's boys' jayvee team (8-1) takes a three-game winning streak into Thursday's first-round contest against Brookville at 12:45 p.m.

The Eagles jayvees last won the Northside Invitational in 2008. In 2009, they finished fourth and in 2010 and 2011, they tied for fifth.

FCHS also has first-place finishes to its credit in 2003 and 2004; third-place showings in 2006 and 2007 and a fourth-place effort in 2002.

Last year, FCHS lost to Blacksburg in the first round and defeated Brookville in its final game.

E.C. Glass is the defending jayvee champion. A year ago, the Hilltoppers defeated Northside in the title game to stop the Vikings' bid to capture the crown for a second year in a row.

First-round play begins Thursday at 8:45 a.m. when E.C. Glass plays Lord Botetourt. At 10:05 a.m, Liberty faces Northside and at 11:25 a.m., Blacksburg takes on William Byrd.

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2012 NORTHSIDE INVITATIONAL

VARSITY BRACKET

THURSDAY, DEC. 27

GAME 1: Brookville vs Franklin County @ 2:30

GAME 2: Blacksburg vs William Byrd @ 4:15

GAME 3: E.C. Glass vs Lord Botetourt @ 6 p.m.

GAME 4: Liberty vs Northside @ 7:45 p.m.

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FRIDAY, DEC. 28

GAME 5: Loser Game 1 vs Loser Game 2 @ 2:30 p.m.

GAME 6: Loser Game 3 vs Loser Game 4 @ 4:15 p.m.

GAME 7: Winner Game 1 vs Winner Game 2 @ 6 p.m.

GAME 8: Winner Game 3 vs Winner Game 4 @ 7:45 p.m.

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SATURDAY, DEC.29

GAME 9: Loser Game 5 vs Loser Game 6 @ 2:30 p.m.

GAME 10: Winner Game 5 vs Winner Game 6 @ 4:15 p.m.

GAME 11: Loser Game 7 vs Loser Game 8 @ 6 p.m.

GAME 12: Winner Game 7 vs Winner Game 8 @ 7:45 p.m.

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JUNIOR VARSITY BRACKET

THURSDAY, DEC. 27

GAME 1: E.C. Glass vs Lord Botetourt @ 8:45 a.m.

GAME 2: Liberty vs Northside @ 10:05 a.m.

GAME 3: Blacksburg vs William Byrd @ 11:25 a.m.

GAME 4: Brookville vs Franklin County @ 12:45 a.m.

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FRIDAY, DEC. 28

GAME 5: Loser Game 1 vs Loser Game 2 @ 9 a.m.

GAME 6: Winner Game 1 vs Winner Game 2 @ 10:15 a.m.

GAME 7: Winner Game 3 vs Winner Game 4 @ 11:30 a.m.

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SATURDAY DEC. 29

GAME 8: Loser Game 3 vs Loser Game 4 @ 9 a.m.

GAME 9: Loser Game 6 vs Loser Game 7 @ 10:15 a.m.

GAME 10: Winner Game 6 vs Winner Game 7 @ 11:30 a.m.

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NORTHSIDE INVITATIONAL

PAST CHAMPIONS: VARSITY DIVISION

YEAR CHAMPION RUNNER-UP

2002 Northside Liberty

2003 Franklin County Blacksburg

2004 Martinsville Franklin County

2005 Martinsville Glenvar

2006 Franklin County Blacksburg

2007 Franklin County Blacksburg

2008 Liberty Lord Botetourt

2009 Northside Franklin County

2010 Christiansburg Franklin County

2011 Christiansburg Franklin County

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FRANKLIN COUNTY FINISHES

VARSITY DIVISION

YEAR PLACE

2002 Third

2003 First

2004 Second

2005 Did Not Enter

2006 First

2007 First

2008 Fourth

2009 Second

2010 Second

2011 Second

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FRANKLIN COUNTY FINISHES

JUNIOR VARSITY DIVISION

YEAR PLACE

2002 Fourth

2003 First

2004 First

2005 Did Not Enter

2006 Third

2007 Third

2008 First

2009 Fourth

2010 Tied For Fifth

2011 Tied For Fifth

 
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